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SGB after the Death of a loved one: The SGB Injection for PTSD

Trauma takes many different forms and will not always occur in typical circumstances. Trauma due to abuse, assault, or after an injury is reminiscent of wartime. Your life was put in danger, your body experienced pain, and PTSD is a continued symptom of this trauma. Physical pain is not the only trigger for post traumatic stress disorder, however, and it is important to recognize how PTSD can develop in those who experience all kinds of trauma.

​PTSD after the sudden death of a loved one is a way that a person’s mental health may be affected without experiencing physical pain. Though everyone’s grief process is unique, some survivors experience what is known as Traumatic Grief. Like PTSD, traumatic grief can continue without abating and result in several PTSD-like symptoms.

​PTSD, as seen in traditional circumstances, will occur more often when the patient was present for the death of their loved one. If they were both in the same car following a car accident, for example, or if they watched their loved one die while waiting for help.

​Guilt, loss, depression, and anxiety can and do wreak havoc on the mind, resulting in either traumatic grief or in PTSD. For both cases, a variety of treatments is necessary in order to combat and manage the symptoms of PTSD. From behavioral therapy to treatments that work to reduce the physical effects of PTSD like the PTSD breakthrough injection.

How the Unexpected Death of a Loved One Can Affect You

Grief affects everyone differently, but when PTSD or traumatic grief play a part, the effects can be catastrophic and prolonged.

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. PTSD or Traumatic Grief

The effects are particularly pronounced if you were present for their death or experienced trauma at the same time. Watching a loved one die, being responsible for their death, or being unable to help and being helpless as they die are all very traumatic in ways that extend beyond grief. Survivor’s guilt also complicates matters and makes the bereaved more likely to develop PTSD.

Other instances where you can develop PTSD following the death of a loved one is if you experience a traumatic event after their death. Those who are on the front lines or are emergency service personnel are at risk following the death of a loved one. Due to their fragile state of grief, the trauma experienced can hit them more acutely, and develop into PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms will vary from person to person. Some might be hypervigilant and overreact to their surroundings. Others might avoid triggers that remind them of their trauma entirely. Nightmares, insomnia, stomach pains, grief, depression, anxiety – all of these are symptoms of PTSD.

Traumatic Grief Symptoms

Traumatic grief if very similar to PTSD, but is commonly classified when the traumatic experience was the death itself, and not another circumstance. Losing a loved one can and is very traumatic, which is why Traumatic Grief exhibits many of the same symptoms of PTSD.

​The death of a child is especially a traumatic event that may result in PTSD. If you think you may have developed PTSD after the death of a child, it is important to seek the help of a mental health professional as soon as possible.

SGB for Traumatic Grief of PTSD

SGB stands for Stellate Ganglion Block. It is a treatment that works by placing an anesthetic agent onto the Stellate Ganglion nerves. These nerves are located at the back of the neck and play a key part in the sympathetic nervous system, or the flight or fight response we feel during times of distress.

​It is posited that PTSD occurs in part due to the sympathetic nervous system being overstimulated. Following a traumatic event, a hormone known as norepinephrine is produced. This hormone is similar to adrenaline, but prolonged exposure to it can result in the nerves within the sympathetic system to grow, meaning that your fight or flight response is heightened and overstimulated.

​At the center of this nervous system is the amygdala or the fear center. With the SGB for PTSD, the responses from the fear center will be dulled, the extra nerve growth will be removed, and the production of norepinephrine reduced.

​The SGB procedure for PTSD is non-invasive, can work fast, can last years, and has been conducted for almost 100 years. In the 1920s, however, it was used as a treatment for chronic pain. Usage for PTSD is relatively new, but interest is high. The Department of Defense believes in its potential so much that it has invested $2 million into a study to rule out the placebo effect as a reason for the SGB’s 85 to 95% success rate.

What Results Can You Expect from the SGB Treatment for PTSD?

The new PTSD injection has a very high success rate, but it is important to remember that it is not a cure.

Trauma experienced after the SGB treatment might be dulled, but that does not mean it cannot result in PTSD symptoms. The treatment does last years, but a renewal of the treatment will need to be done in order to prolong its effects.

Other Treatments to Improve PTSD or Traumatic Grief Symptoms

Traumatic grief is very difficult to deal with and can result in PTSD or at the very least, PTSD like symptoms. Though the SGB can reduce the anxiety, fear, and fight or flight response that has been overstimulated by your body’s production of norepinephrine, that does not make it a total cure. Patients will want to follow up with the following therapies for the best results:

  1. Anti-Depressants
  2. Therapy
  3.   CBD
  4. Exposure Therapy

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